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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 01-30-06, 03:45 PM   #1
david.l.k
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Any Bike messengers on the boards?

I'm just wondering if there are any bike messengers on the boards. I'm finishing highschool this year and I need a job from summer till just before summer next year. Because next summer I will embark on a cross country solo bike tour, from Toronto to both coasts and back. I'm thinking of working as a bike messenger. I know that it's hard and can be dangerous but I think I'm gonna do it. Plus after riding like mad for 8 hours a day for a couple months biking across Canada at touring pace should be a snap.
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Old 01-30-06, 03:55 PM   #2
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check the single speed fixed gear forum.
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Old 01-30-06, 10:14 PM   #3
mrbertfixy
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some companies/places require you to be 21
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Old 01-30-06, 11:27 PM   #4
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Not here. Come out. HELP!!!!
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Old 02-01-06, 08:41 AM   #5
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I'll be 19 and I'm in Canada so things might be different. I'm pretty sure that someone will hire me, there's at least 20 different companies in Toronto, most big cities have quite a few.
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Old 02-01-06, 07:05 PM   #6
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no offense, but im an owner/operator of a messenger business and I wouldnt hire you

some companies will hire short term part timers but they tend to be either big companies or have an obscene turnover rate.........most of them are getting eaten alive by guys like me
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Old 02-01-06, 09:27 PM   #7
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Since we're talking about "hiring". Are messengers employees at all? I thought that (at least around here) most are independent contractors (ie. have no benefits paid by the company).
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Old 02-01-06, 09:44 PM   #8
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most are 1099-misc, yes

some law firms have in house guys though, and a few courier companies pay hourly, motivation being what it is, hourly=low productivity, 1099's do alot more work typically........here locally its as much as 10 to 1 more work
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Old 02-01-06, 10:06 PM   #9
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Hmm... I am sure it is a very tight market, but I find it insane that bike messenger companies don't pay insurance for their guys. It's such a physical job. This situation reminds me of construction workers around 1900. I would probably not want to own a company like that. I couldn't stomach the thought that there are people out there in the street working for me without me covering their asses.

I wonder if this will ever change. Bike messengers unionized? Probably never.

Just thinking out loud...
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Old 02-01-06, 10:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pedex
no offense, but im an owner/operator of a messenger business and I wouldnt hire you

some companies will hire short term part timers but they tend to be either big companies or have an obscene turnover rate.........most of them are getting eaten alive by guys like me
i thought you were a one man operation?
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Old 02-02-06, 12:08 PM   #11
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I'm serious pedex; you should write a 'how-to' manual online about how to start your own messenger company. There's a lot of people that want to do so, and it sounds like you're doing well.

Or, maybe that would be creating competitors?

Perhaps not, then.
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Old 02-02-06, 07:30 PM   #12
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Ive thought about it, and your the fourth to tell me I should write one. Ive read the immortal class and nerves of steel, neither provide an unimbellished view or real life guide to how its done thats for sure.
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Old 02-02-06, 07:40 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iBarna
Hmm... I am sure it is a very tight market, but I find it insane that bike messenger companies don't pay insurance for their guys. It's such a physical job. This situation reminds me of construction workers around 1900. I would probably not want to own a company like that. I couldn't stomach the thought that there are people out there in the street working for me without me covering their asses.

I wonder if this will ever change. Bike messengers unionized? Probably never.

Just thinking out loud...
Its one of the most misunderstood and romanticized jobs thats for sure. What makes a regular w-4 type company a no go is workers compensation, the claim rate and incident rates mean HUGE premiums. Im all for it, now explain to customers why their rates just went from $6/run to $20/run !!!! The other thing is just plain motivation. You will rarely ever see a rec rider ride like a messenger on a mission to get somewhere, just like you wont see an hourly rider ride like a 1099. The amount of dedication and just sheer willpower it takes to be fast, consistent, and do it year round under every condition that can be thrown at you means unions dont work. The lowest common denominator doesnt work. The job very quickly weeds out the pretenders and wannabe's, even when times are good and easy, the pretenders or casual messengers find it tough to hang for long.

One of the weirdest things about this business is this:If I see one of my competitors broke down I will try to help, I will even cover his/her runs, call the police, fight someone for them, whatever, but I also will not even hesitate for one second to take a customer from them and food off their table. In a nutshell its the very essence of capitalism and survival of the fittest with a sort of tribe mentality added to it. We respect others that do what we do, because we and few others really understand what it is we actually do.
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Old 02-07-06, 12:04 AM   #14
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Man, I wish you were in Mpls!!!!! I want a long-term job as a mess here, but downtown is so small and the kids that are riding now barely have enough for themselves. If you need help and willing to give an out of towner a shot, PM me. Seriously....
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